It was still on the murky side of sun-up when we gathered this morning for our weekly GetHiking! Friday Morning Hike. As we fine-tuned our clothing strategies for dealing with the cold — at 30 degrees, the coldest morning since April — we scanned the eastern sky for signs of the type of day ahead. Gradually, the rising sun revealed a mostly clear sky as it lit the autumn canopy above.
Temperatures first thing in the 40s, rising only into the 60s during the day, plenty of sun: our awesome autumn continues. As do our thoughts on how best to make the most of it. If you’re looking for a guided hike, for instance:
Basin Hike, Saturday, 10 a.m., Fort Fisher State Recreation Area, Kure Beach. This is about the time when we start getting excited about hiking at the coast. I know, we’re just hitting peak color in the Piedmont, but the cool temperatures and clear skies are made for a coastal adventure. And this hike is always the first one that comes to mind: the 1.1-mile hike starting on the beach, heading inland through salt marsh, past a World War II bunker that once housed something of a celebrity, and finally to an overlook overlooking The Basin and Zeke’s Island beyond. Some of the most wide-open space you’ll encounter on trail in North Carolina. Space is limited, reserve a spot by calling 919.458.5798. Learn more here.
The signs are subtle at first. You walk out in the morning and the light isn’t quite as bright; the sun seems a little … behind, like it forgot to set its alarm clock. And that after dinner walk in the evening? You’re getting closer and closer to finishing in the dark.
Let’s face it, hiking is pretty swell no matter the season in North Carolina. But it’s hands-down the swellest in fall. Cooling temperatures, drier air, fall color — all combine to make this the best of seasons. Here’s our lineup for Fall 2021.
Already, it is August — mid-August, to be accurate — and the days of summer are waning. If you’re not a friend of hot weather, this comes as good news. But if you like the heat and feel you haven’t taken full advantage of the season, this realization could bum you out. Don’t let it.